"It is high time that we consider our behaviour and change it, since only in this way will we contribute to ensuring that we all live better in a society enriched by a rainbow of different lifestyles."
Matjaž Hanžek, former Human Rights Ombusman of the Republic of Slovenia and Project Leader BC (from the Project Newsletter)
The overall objective of this project was to provide adequate training of the experts involved in the anti-discrimination department of the Human Rights Ombudsman and other key persons in the national institutional structure and to thus contribute to the implementation of the acquis regarding directive 2000/43/EC on equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin.
It also aimed at strengthening the general awareness of the importance of non-discrimination, human rights and fundamental freedoms as basic principles of EU law and to thereby contribute to the respect of these principles in the application of EU law on the part of national authorities.
The project has achieved these aims by training 10 employees of the Ombudsman for Human Rights and the Equal Opportunities Office extensively on a broad variety of aspects of the European anti-discrimination legislation and policy as well as on training techniques in order to enable them to pass on their knowledge to others. The employees of the Human Rights Ombudsman could also test their new skills in taking on the trainer’s role in a variety of activities, working with very different target groups. As a result of this project, they are not only trained but already experienced trainers. Those trainers are in a position to spread their knowledge within the Slovenian administration, given their skills and the already existing proposals for cooperation by a large number of institutions. A practical manual (in English and Slovenian) provides them with relevant materials and will function as a reference in theoretical issues and as a practical tool kit for training techniques.
The project also reached 375 participants in seminars on particular areas or target groups of discrimination to intensify their knowledge. Further 163 participants attended the two conferences held at the beginning and the end of the project to get an insight into project developments and knowledge about the mechanism to counteract discrimination.
Two successful study trips - to Ireland/Northern Ireland and Austria - deepened the knowledge and understanding of the Beneficiary in regard to the implementation of a functioning institutional framework to counteract discrimination.
The impact of the project to the Beneficiary Country Administration is strong. At the end of the project it can be said that the Anti-Discrimination Department within the Ombudsman for Human Rights has been established and its team formed. For the fully operational Department the cornerstone of future activity has been laid. The Department will safeguard that within the BC administration issues of non-discrimination and equal treatment will be brought up and handled with care and skill by professionals.
Claudia Hüttner, email@example.com